Tim Lott was born in 1956 in Southall, west London, the son of a Notting Hill greengrocer. In 1976, he took a job on the pop magazine Sounds, and in 1980, he set up the first glossy colour pop magazine, Flexipop! He left the venture in 1983 to attend the London School of Economics and after graduating accepted the editorship of the listings magazine City Limits. He resigned after only two weeks, and a period of acute depressive illness followed, during which his parents nursed him back to health. Shortly afterwards his mother, Jean, committed suicide. The Scent of Dried Roses grew from an Esquire article on Jean's depression and suicide, and its publication in 1996 met with universal acclaim. Lott's novels include White City Blue, winner of the 1999 Whitbread First Novel award; Rumours of a Hurricane (2002); The Love Secrets of Don Juan (2003); The Seymour Tapes (2005) and, Fearless (2007), a children's book.
'The Scent of Dried Roses touches a nerve no other English memoir has found; it does so in a way that seems not only affecting, but somehow important' - Sebastian Faulks 'This is a moving, insightful, important book. It works as a personal story, as an analysis of the unknowable horrors of suicide and as a history of a changing Britain' - William Hague 'In its slow and careful way, it unfolds a certain topography of melancholia, and the map Lott makes of his troubles mixes the intricate streets he has walked in all his life with some pretty intricate places in his own mind and heart. We are left with a resounding lament for small England ... The book's recreation of a suburban world, its flashing-back and forward in real time, its compilation of whispers and roars and half-remembered truths, its reliance on the intimacies of interior monologue, are bound to make some people think of fiction' - Andrew O'Hagan 'Brilliant. I don't remember reading any text which is so personal, so particular and near the bone and yet which is so utterly without self-regard' - Hilary Mantel 'Outstanding ! tracing his parents' marriage, Lott conveys, with a brilliant, almost Orwellian command of social and historical nuance, what England looked and felt like, decade by decade, from 1930 to 1989 ! it is a story told with courage, candour and astonishing command of detail' Blake Morrison